Lorenzo Kamel

Shiites, Sunnis and the Rise of the «Islamic State»

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This article aims to analyze the complexity of the sectarian divisions that run through the contemporary Middle East. The first part focuses on the cleavage between Sunnis and Shiites - more in general on religious diversities and the minority/majority dichotomy in the Eastern Mediterranean - and observes the region from an «internal perspective», thus contextualizing concepts and words that, up to the recent past, had little or no value if not outside of the Middle East. The article takes Iraq as a case study and analyzes the roots of the sectarian clashes in the country. The conclusions suggest the need to «unlearn» many of the assumptions and the concepts commonly adopted for approaching the past and the present of the region.


  • Islamic State
  • Shiites
  • Sunnis


Article first page

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